Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tues. July 28, 2015

Tuesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 402

Reading 1EX 33:7-11; 34:5B-9, 28

The tent, which was called the meeting tent,
Moses used to pitch at some distance away, outside the camp.
Anyone who wished to consult the LORD
would go to this meeting tent outside the camp.
Whenever Moses went out to the tent, the people would all rise
and stand at the entrance of their own tents,
watching Moses until he entered the tent.
As Moses entered the tent, the column of cloud would come down
and stand at its entrance while the LORD spoke with Moses.
On seeing the column of cloud stand at the entrance of the tent,
all the people would rise and worship
at the entrance of their own tents.
The LORD used to speak to Moses face to face,
as one man speaks to another.
Moses would then return to the camp,
but his young assistant, Joshua, son of Nun,
would not move out of the tent.

Moses stood there with the LORD and proclaimed his name, “LORD.”
Thus the LORD passed before him and cried out,
“The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God,
slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity,
continuing his kindness for a thousand generations,
and forgiving wickedness and crime and sin;
yet not declaring the guilty guiltless,
but punishing children and grandchildren
to the third and fourth generation for their fathers’ wickedness!”
Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship.
Then he said, “If I find favor with you, O LORD,
do come along in our company.
This is indeed a stiff-necked people;
yet pardon our wickedness and sins,
and receive us as your own.”

So Moses stayed there with the LORD for forty days and forty nights,
without eating any food or drinking any water,
and he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant,
the ten commandments.

Responsorial PsalmPS 103:6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13

R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.
The LORD secures justice
and the rights of all the oppressed.
He has made known his ways to Moses,
and his deeds to the children of Israel.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower;
all who come to him will live for ever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 13:36-43

Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house.
His disciples approached him and said,
“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the Evil One,
and the enemy who sows them is the Devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his Kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the Kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

"Untamed Temperaments": O How Can I Change Thee?

Photo credit: sciencedirect.com

by: Kathy Vestermark 
I'm a strong extrovert with mild melancholic tendencies. I only fall into melancholic tendencies when the exertions of being a Choleric-Sanguine push me past my limits.

Can anyone relate to this?

Does it seem a little bipolar*?

My highs can be very high, but my lows are never so severe as to warrant intervention. They are just exhausting and require rest and rejuvenation.

The Temperaments chart above delineates a person's behavioral tendencies. People's behavior can be differentiated into four distinct categories of temperament: Choleric, Sanguine, Phlegmatic and Melancholic. Each temperament has particular behavioral traits associated with it.

As I noted at the start, my primary temperament is Choleric -- you can all feel sorry for my husband and children now. I have tried over the years to rid myself of many of the choleric tendencies in my behaviors. Each time I would try, I would get angry and frustrated. I'd behave, in essence, more and more like a choleric!

Often, I would grouse, "Can it even be done? Can I possibly be rid of these nasty tendencies that drive me and others crazy?"

It certainly seemed impossible. I was praying, of course -- a bitter, tantrum-like prayer. Not so surprisingly, I wasn't making much progress (actually, no progress). It became necessary to ask myself if I was praying for the right thing?

I wanted those particular temperaments to go away and be gone for good. I didn't want to be responsible for them anymore.

I thought I would be better if I was different. Wouldn't it be great if I could be a Sanguine/Phlegmatic? That's a wonderful combination -- as if I could simply put on a new temperament as easily a I could change my clothes.

I realized that I was asking God to change the essence of me -- "who" he made me to be.

That couldn't be right.

What was I supposed to do with that nasty choleric list then? How would I be able to go on being that?

St. Augustine came to mind one afternoon as I brooded over my situation (he and I share some temperament traits). He's an inspiring saint, and offered many wonderful words to ponder. I found part of the answer I needed in this less commonly quoted phrase spoken by the dear saint:

Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.

This wasn't really a new concept to me. It had been recommended to me previously as a means of penance for Lent; I should try to cut down on something I found pleasant and stick to it, rather than abstain from it entirely. My confessor hadn't attributed the idea to St. Augustine. And I had never really applied it to anything besides my Lenten penances.

Imagine my delight when I recognized that it was a more universally applicable notion. It was an epiphany!

I didn't need to change temperaments! I needed to "temper" my temperaments, make them holy and gradually move to a more moderate expression of them.  I began to ask God to show me how to perfect my primary temperament.

I quickly came to this realization: I couldn't undo my temperaments, I couldn't "un-be" who I was. I would be destroying the fabric of who I am, and possibly undermining the purpose of what I was meant for in this life.  I needed to look at each of the attributes of the choleric temperament and find a way to make them virtuous. (I honestly believe that without the tenacity that comes along with being a choleric, I would have buckled under the strain of some of life's circumstances.)

For instance, aggression -- It doesn't sound like an attribute that anyone would aspire to. I didn't want to lose my edge, though -- I liked that don't tangle with the tiger part of me. So, what was I to do? I attempted with God's grace to refine its expression. I no longer felt compelled to make minced meat out of those who got under my skin. Instead, when I used that tendency to defend and protect, I'd start with a prayer and operate with love and with mercy; even if anger was necessary, it wouldn't be released in a negative form of aggression -- it now looks more determined and self-assured.

This choleric temperament is a gift, not a curse. And I have a responsibility to use it wisely.

Lately, it has become exceedingly commonplace to expect the world to conform to our whims. Accept me for how I am -- You -- accept Me -- whether my behavior deserves acceptance or not. There is very little, if any, personal responsibility for being good, or moral, or truthful. Concerning? Absolutely!

It unnerves me to consider: What if I had continued down the path of the "untamed choleric"? I'd have been miserable, angry, defiant, rebellious, etc. In actuality, I have already been those things (through my teens and early 20's -- I'll let you imagine that for yourselves). I know for certain that if it had continued unchecked, no one with any real joy would want to be around me; that would have been a great sadness to me because I truly love to be social (my Sanguine side) and yearned to be truly and consistently happy.

It would have been pointless, fruitless, and ultimately a detriment to me to expect others to accept the "untamed choleric". I would have been asking to remain in my misery -- a repellent to anything good, true and beautiful. I would have been surrounded my people of like temperament.

Sadly, I do notice many of them, they're hard to miss -- angry, depressed, leading others astray, good natured, but easily swayed -- and mostly miserable because they are trapped in their "untamed temperament".

Beyond any doubt, I came to realize that the only way to be happy was to take responsibility for my behaviors that left me feeling angry and unhappy. God and I were finally on the same team in this regard; I wanted to perfect my temperament, and He wanted it for me all along.

I am grateful for my little epiphany. It helped me make a positive behavioral revision in my life (one that requires continuous attention). It allowed me to be strong and confident, with more obvious Sanguine undertones. I became more pleasant, and for that I'm sure many people are grateful.


That and prayer have helped me turn a corner to perfect and put to good use my choleric temperament. I now gratefully take what the Lord has given and employ it with his grace each day. Each day, I start anew to keep what is best, cast off what causes pain, anxiety, unrest.

It's been a life changer, a change that this Choleric/Sanguine can live happily with -- and so can everyone else around me.

For more information about the temperaments, I recommend: The Temperament God Gave You, by Art and Laraine Bennett.

*Bipolar disorder is real and requires medical intervention. The strains of daily life and the inability to control mood swings as a result of chemical imbalances in the brain must be addressed, of course. But, here I am speaking of behavioral tendencies more so than psychological diagnoses.  
About the Author: Professor Kathy Vestermark, MA Theology

Professor Kathryn VestermarkProfessor Kathy Vestermark is a wife and mother of six children, one with significant special needs. She worked for 13 years in medical education at USUHS on a project to include families of children with special needs as faculty and advisors to medical education. She received her MA in Theology from CDU, and has put it to use as a Coordinator/Instructor of RCIA at her parish, Women's Bible Study facilitator, lecturer, writer of a Catholic blog and contributor to other Catholic/Secular books and publications. Professor Vestermark also serves as a Student Life Coordinator for the CDU Online Student Center.

Saint July 28 : St. Samson : #Bishop and #Confessor of #Wales

St. Samson
Feast: July 28

Feast Day:July 28
Born:490 at south Wales
Died:565 at Brittany
Bishop and confessor, born in South Wales; died 28 July, 565 (?). The date of his birth is unknown. His parents whose names are given as Amon of Dyfed and Anna of Gwynedd, were of noble, but not royal, birth. While still an infant he was dedicated to God and entrusted to the care of St. Illtyd, by whom he was brought up in the monastery of Llantwit Major. He showed exceptional talents in his studies, and was eventually ordained deacon and priest by St. Dubric. After this he retired to another monastery, possibly after that on Caldy Island, to practise greater austerities, and some years later became it abbot. About this time some Irish monks who were returning from Rome happened to visit Samson's monastery. So struck was the abbot by their learning and sanctity that he accompanied them to Ireland, and there remained some time. During h is visit he received the submission of an Irish monastery, and, on his return to Wales, sent one of his uncles to act as its superior. His fame as a worker of miracles now attracted so much attention that he resolved to found a new monastery or cell "far from the haunts of men", and accordingly retired with a few companions to a lonely spot on the banks of the Severn. He was soon discovered, however, and forced by his fellow-countrymen to become abbot of the monastery formerly ruled by St. Germanus; here St. Dubric consecrated him bishop but without appointment to any particular see. Now, being warned by an angel, he determined to leave England and, after some delay, set sail for Brittany. He landed near Dol, and there built a monastery which became the centre of his episcopal work in the district. Business taking him to Paris, he visited King Childebert there, and was nominated by him as Bishop of Dol; Dol, however, did not become a regular episcopal see till about the middle of the ninth century. Samson attained the age of 85 years, and was buried at Dol. Several early lives of Samson exist. The oldest, printed by Mabillon in his "Acta Sanctorum" from a manuscript at Cîteaux, and again by the Bollandists, claims to be compiled from information derived from Samson's contemporaries, which would refer it to about 600. Dom Plaine in the "Analecta Bollandiana" has edited another and fuller life (from manuscript Andeg., 719), which he regards as earlier than Mabillon's. Later lives are numerous.

SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/S/stsamson.asp#ixzz1TMugn8L0